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June 23, 2013: Brokering Peace for Elephants, Surfing Down the Baja Coast, and More

This weekend, we learn about how National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Mike Fay made peace between rebel leaders and forest elephants in Central African Republic, we carry water on our back for a 1,000-mile trek down Mexico’s Baja California Coast, and we ride Europe’s rails in comfort.

Changing With the Land: The Skolt Sámi’s Path to Climate Change Resilience

This photo essay offers a glimpse of the challenges that climate change presents for indigenous and local communities in northern Europe. An Arctic people of northern Finland whose livelihoods depend largely on their environment, the Skolt Sámi are searching for ways to remain resilient in the face of climate change. _____________________________________________________________________________ The land around Rautujärvi…

Pulsating Heart of Nature: How to Ensure Our Collective Bioculturally Resilient Future

  The remarkable variety of life’s interdependent phenomena and processes — what we call ‘diversity’ — is being eroded by the modern forces of homogenization. The rich tapestry — woven from a countless multitude of mutually reinforcing strands of biological, cultural and linguistic relationships — is wearing out. Our increasingly fatigued world is losing its…

Eliminate GDP and “Economic Growth” to Create the Real Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples Say

The planet is in peril, 3,000 scientists and other experts concluded at the recent Planet Under Pressure conference in London. Climate change, overuse of nitrogen and loss of biodiversity are just three of the perils threatening to make much of our home uninhabitable. World leaders will meet in Rio de Janeiro June 20-22 to address…

Traditional Slash and Burn Agriculture Sustainable Solution to Climate Change

Climate change is the result of not behaving in the right way, according to the isolated Trio, an indigenous people living in Suriname’s Amazon forest near its border with Brazil. “They see climate change as big problem. They say their forests are changing, deteriorating,” said Gwendolyn Smith, a project director for the non-profit organization Amazon Conservation…

Indigenous Peoples Can Show the Path to Low-Carbon Living If Their Land Rights Are Recognized

  Many indigenous peoples are living examples of societies thriving with sustainable, low-carbon lifestyles. Successfully meeting the global climate change challenge requires that much of the world shift from high carbon-living to low. This shift is daunting. Current emissions for Australia and the United States average about 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person. In…

REDD: The New Beast in the Forest Brings Hope and Threats to Indigenous Peoples

“REDD is the new beast in the forest,” said Patrick Anderson of the Forest Peoples Programme in Indonesia here at Climate Change Mitigation with Local Communities and Indigenous peoples workshop in Cairns, Australia. Deforestation gobbles up an area the size of Greece (13 million hectares) every year. As if that loss wasn’t bad enough, it…

‘Abriculture’ Using Forests to Feed Indigenous Peoples and Fight Climate Change

Forests can not only suck climate-heating carbon out of the atmosphere, they are also an important source of food for many Indigenous peoples. “Western food is making our people sick. Our bodies are adapted to eating bush foods,” said Seith Fourmile of the Gimuy-Walubarra Yidinji Nation of Cairns. Australia’s Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples…

Indigenous Peoples Needed to Meet the Challenge of Climate Change

  “Planning is not part of our culture. You just get up in the morning and do what you need to do for the day,” said Marilyn Wallace of the Kuku Nyungka ‘mob’ (aboriginal nation) in northern Queensland, Australia. “Bama,” people caring for their local territory, is an important part of aboriginal culture and identity,…

The Key to Addressing Climate Change – Indigenous Knowledge

We have the knowledge that can contribute to finding solutions to the crisis of climate change. But if you’re not prepared to listen, how can we communicate this to you? — Marcos Terena, Xané leader, Brazil. The precipitous rise in the world’s human population and humankind’s ever-increasing dependence on fossil fuel-based ways of living have…